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Jan Delimont

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7 Home Remodeling Projects With Top-Dollar Returns

by Jan Delimont

Your home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot. (Yay southern exposure!)

But the home itself? Perfect isn’t the adjective you’d use. But you knew that moving in, and now you’re ready to start making it just right.

But where to begin? How about with data? Data is that friend who tells you like it really is.

Because while any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, not all add as much home equity as you might expect.

The “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS® has tons of data on how much improvements cost — and how much of those costs you can recoup.

Here are the best seven home remodeling projects with equity-building might.

#1 Upgraded Landscaping

This one might be a bit of a surprise. (Maybe you expected a major kitchen reno to top the list.) 

But if your yard is one of your home’s imperfect parts, a little color and a touch of hardscaping can make a huge difference to your curb appeal, which is a great immediate equity-booster.

What does a basic landscaping upgrade include?

  • Flowering shrubs
  • A 15-foot-tall deciduous tree
  • A flagstone walkway
  • Two 6-by-2 stone planters
  • Fresh mulch

The cost: $4,750

The return: 105% at $5,000

#2 New Roof

If you find yourself sprinting for the buckets when it starts to sprinkle, getting a new roof should be your No. 1 to-do. Measuring rainfall from the indoors isn’t cool. 

The cost: $7,500 

The return: 109% at $8,150

Considering it’s what’s between you and the elements, it’s a no-brainer. 

Not sure if you need a new roof? Signs you might include:

  • Shingles are missing, curling up, or covered in moss.
  • Gritty bits from the asphalt shingles are coming out the downspout. 
  • The sun’s shining through your attic. 
  • You notice stains on ceilings and walls.
  • Your energy bill is sky high.

    #3 Hardwood Floors

You flip on the TV to see that your fave home reno-ing duo is it at again, flipping a ranch that’s stuck in the ‘80s. 

They make it to the living room, pull back the dingy carpet to reveal hardwood floors in great condition. They’re psyched — and for good reason. 

Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Refinishing is a no-brainer. Neither will you regret adding new hardwood floors if you have none.

The cost to refinish: $2,500

The return: 100% at $2,500

The cost to buy new: $5,500

The return: 91% at $5,000

#4 Patio or Deck

If your home is your castle, your yard is your kingdom. After giving your yard a much-needed overhaul, you need a place to watch over you handiwork. How about that deck or patio you’ve been dreaming of?

The cost of a patio: $6,400

The return: 102% at $6525

The cost of a deck: $9,450

The return: 106% at $10,000

#5 New Garage Door

No surprise that a garage door replacement project made it onto this #winning list — a new garage door provides a big boost for your home’s curb appeal at a relatively modest cost. 

The cost: $2,300 (for a two-door)

The return: 87% at $2,000

There are options galore, too. A host of factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel, and glass window insets are just some of the possibilities that’ll give your doors bankable personality.

#6 Insulation

Insulation is tucked out of sight, so it’s often out of mind — that is, until you’re forced to wear your parka indoors because it’s sooo darn cold. 

The cost: $2,100

The return: 76% at $1,600 (plus the added savings on heating and cooling costs!)

#7 New Siding

In any color! And never paint again. 

Those are two of the three benefits of vinyl siding. The third, of course, is your home’s value. 

But if long-time homeowners look at you funny when you mention vinyl siding, just tell them that today’s vinyl is way better than what they remember because of fade-resistant finishes and transferable lifetime warranties. 

The cost: $13,350

The return: 75% at $10,000

Want fiber-cement siding instead? It also shows a strong payback of 83%. Although it’s the pricier option — you’ll spend about $18,000 with a payback of about $15,000 — it has one thing vinyl still lacks — the perception of quality.

And quality matters. In a survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), “quality” was the one of the most important traits that home buyers focused on when house hunting.

 

5 Important Factors to Consider Before Buying a House

by Jan Delimont

Saving up for a down payment on a house is one of the most drawn out arduous journeys in a young adults life. It’s a road that seemingly has no end. After all, you’re at a stage in your life where money can be easily put to use elsewhere.

When you’ve finally chipped away at it long enough and you have your down payment sitting in your savings account, the excitement is unfathomable. It’s not uncommon to hit up all the websites and immediately start shopping for your dream home.

There’s a lot of stress linked to first-time homebuyers. One key component is that many were previously living with their parents and didn’t account for the stress linked with cooking, cleaning, landscaping and a host of other things we take for granted as children and young adults.

These factors just scratch the surface of the issues associated with buying a home. Here are some real factors to consider before pulling the trigger on your first home.

1. The Bills

The sheer excitement of purchasing a new home can cause you to stretch your budget and overlook certain expenses. When budgeting for your house, any real estate agent or lender will make it clear to include taxes, insurance, interest and of course the principal. However, it’s important you take all costs into account and make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew; immense stress is not worth a bigger house. Take into account the utilities, renovations and maintenance costs. Even if your home is in tip-top shape, you will learn that things consistently break down and require maintenance.

2. Should You Rent?

If you plan on moving around frequently, buying a home is not the best option. Although rent is viewed as flushing your money down the toilet, more money will go down that toilet if you constantly relocate. Every time you buy and sell there are an exorbitant amount of fees that need to be paid. These fees become less and less significant the longer you stay at a particular home.

3. Home Inspection

Although home inspections are not generally mandatory, it’s vital that you get one done. There are many hidden aspects of a home that can translate to expensive repairs with a potential to damage your budget forecast. It’s also advisable that you shadow the inspector. They will be able to inform you on nuances associated with the home that can turn out to be valuable information.

4. Yard And Garden Maintenance

If you’re not interested in this type of work, include landscapers as a fixed cost in your budget forecast. If not, be prepared to spend several of your precious weekend hours mowing lawns, pulling weeds and turning the soil. Many people enjoy working in their yard, but all will admit that it’s not easy work and the tools are costly.

5. Hire A Real Estate Agent

It’s not uncommon for people to hesitate before hiring a real estate agent.  Don’t make this mistake; a real estate agent is experienced with the extremely complicated process of purchasing a home. They will be able to expedite the process and get you the best, realistic price. They save you money and a ton of heartache in the long run.

The Right Way to Hang Art Every Time & Not Screw It Up

by Jan Delimont

I have always loved art and thought that it was the most personal part of any home, but I never knew how to make it all look good on the wall. Then a friend gave me a great tip that to this day has made picture hanging a simple, gratifying task. The tip? Always hang your artwork at 57" on center. Confused?

"On center" means that the middle of the artwork is always at 57" (obviously, this only applies to hanging art on an open wall or above lower furniture, rather than over taller features like a fireplace). Interestingly, the 57" standard represents the average human eye-height and is regularly used as a standard in many galleries and museums.

I was relieved when I discovered this guidance, because it gave me a tool to help others as well. With clients, I often found that pictures, lovely as they could be, were often shockingly randomly hung.

57" On Center

In addition to being a pleasing height, the 57" on center tends to be a lot lower than most people naturally hang their artwork. People hang things too high (I don't know why they do this!). It also means that your artwork is going to hang in closer proximity to the other elements of your home, such as furniture, rugs, lighting, etc., and will therefore "talk" to everything better and have a closer relationship, which is a good thing.

In addition, I have discovered that if you stick to this standard, you create a harmony among ALL the pictures in your home, as they will all share a midline as you look around your spaces, no matter what outside dimensions may be. This creates harmony and is also very good.

Now, let's take a look at some specific, step-by-step directions to help you on your art-hanging journey"

Step 1: Measure and lightly mark 57" on the wall, measuring up from your floor. 
Step 2: Measure artwork and divide by 2 (this gives you the center)
Step 3: Measure top of your picture to the tightened wire (or wherever you''ll hanging it from). This should be a pretty small amount, depending on your frame or canvas.
Step 4: Subtract that "tight wire" amount from number you figured out in step 2. This will tell you how far above 57" your hook should go.
Step 5: Lightly mark wall just above 57" with the "to the hook" amount you figured out in step 4.
Step 6: Hang that art with confidence!

While that might sound a little confusing, we promise it's easy! Here's an example:
 
  • Picture is 20" tall
  • Middle is at 10" (this mid point should rest at 57" from the floor)
  • Wire comes to 2" below the top
  • 10" - 2" = 8"
  • Lightly mark 8" above your first mark or 65" on the wall
  • Hang up art!

Though this may seem complicated to read, it is quite simple when you do it. The thing to always remember is that the center of all your pictures should be hanging at the same 57", and you are just figuring out where the hook goes above it.

This 57" also applies to groups of pictures. Think of a group or gallery wall as one giant picture. After you arrange how you want them all to hang (doing this on the floor with paper cut outs makes it so much easier), start with the center picture/pictures and hang each of those are 57" on center on the wall. From there, fill in with the rest of the group however you like! You can also just choose one main focal art work and keep that at 57" on center, and arrange from there.

Love That Home’s View? See How Much More You’ll Pay

by Jan Delimont

view1A house with a fabulous view can be hard for a home buyer to resist. But seeing the mountains, water or city lights from the comfort of home comes at a price. The hazy part is figuring out what that added cost is — and whether it’s worth it.

That’s where real estate appraisers and analysts who study home values can help, even though they recognize there’s no simple answer.

“Views are actually really difficult to quantify,” says Andy Krause, principal data scientist at Greenfield Advisors, a real estate research company. “It’s somewhat subjective. What makes a better water view? Do you want it to be wider? Do you want more of the water from a taller angle? You know, some of that is in the eye of the beholder.”

Assigning a dollar value can also be difficult because not all views are equal or valuable, and a view that’s sought-after in one location may not be in another.

In Manhattan, a place that overlooks a green space or woods will cost you a lot extra. In the countryside? Not as much, says Mauricio Rodriguez, a real estate expert who chairs the finance department at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business.

Putting a price on it

So how do you put a price on a variety of views? Krause, who builds automated valuation models that analyze home data, produced these estimates for what five different types of views might add to a home’s price in Seattle:

  • 5 to 10%: For a home on flat ground with an unobstructed view of an open space or a park, a seller could add 5 to 10%. In other words, if an identical home without a view is worth $500,000 elsewhere in Seattle, this view could boost the price to $525,000 to $550,000.
  • 10 to 30%: A home partway up a hill with a partially obstructed water view over neighbors’ rooftops could increase the overall price by 10 to 30%. It depends on how much of your field of vision the view fills, both vertically and horizontally, Krause says. In this example, a home otherwise worth $500,000 might fetch $550,000 to $650,000.
  • 30 to 50%: This time Krause considered the same home as above, in the same location, but with an unobstructed view. “You still have the neighbors above looking down into your house, but you have a nice water view,” he says. With this clearer view, the $500,000 home could sell for $650,000 to $750,000.
  • 50 to 75%: Next, envision a home atop a hill with an unobstructed cityscape or open-space vista. To buy the $500,000 home in this location, a buyer might have to pay $725,000 to $875,000.
  • 75-100% or more: Finally, imagine a house with a stunning, unobstructed view of a big lake or the ocean. This type of prized view can boost the value of a home worth $500,000 in an ordinary location to $1 million or more, Krause says.

How to shop for a home with a view

If having a view is a must on your homebuying list, here are a couple of tips from the experts:

1. Find out if the view is protected

Frank Lucco, a residential real estate appraiser and consultant in Houston, once had clients with an expensive home who sued after a high-rise office tower went up across the street. The building disrupted their view and gave office workers a view of their formerly private backyard and their teenage daughters using the pool. The lawsuit was dismissed, Lucco says, and a bit of detective work could have told them that commercial development was allowed.

To avoid a similar outcome, Lucco says before you place a bid on a home, ask planning authorities what the zoning allows and if high-impact developments are planned nearby.

2. Look for diamonds in the rough

Bargain-hunters can occasionally find views for cheap because poor design — walls where a big window or a deck might go, for instance — blocks what should be a nice view.

“It may cost you $15,000 to $30,000 to do a very limited remodel that gives you a better angle, or higher vantage point, or a rooftop deck,” Krause says. But that could be a deal compared with buying a home that already takes full advantage of its view. Lucco suggests inspecting the home’s deed for any restrictions limiting additions to the height. Pay careful attention to homeowner association rules, too.

A view can be one of the most attractive aspects of a home. Knowing that you paid the right price for it can make the scenery that much more enjoyable.

The 10 Hottest U.S. Housing Markets of 2018

by Jan Delimont

What Makes 'Em Hot, Anyways?

The U.S. housing market is on fire — in a good way. Zillow conducted a study to observe which U.S. metropolitan-area housing markets are estimated to scorch the rest in 2018. The variables used to predict the overall "hotness factor" are as follows: Zillow’s Home Value and Rent Forecast (i.e. the predicted increase in property value over the next year), income and population growth, current unemployment rates and the number of job openings per person via data from Glassdoor.

10: Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas comes in hot for the tenth-hottest housing market. This sought-after city boasts an average annual income of $63,812, home value is predicted to increase 4.7 percent over the next year, and 142,084 job opportunities are available, to boot.

9: Portland, Oregon

Portland keeps things weird, but it seems to be working for them. The average annual income is about $60k, the home value forecast is 3.7 percent and there are 44,845 jobs up for the taking.

8: Nashville, Tennessee

The masses are moving to Music City and it’s easy to see why. Nashville’s housing market is almost as hot as their mouth-watering hot chicken. The annual average income is about $60k, the home value forecast is 3.8 percent and there are over 38,257 jobs up for grabs.

7: Denver, Colorado

Denver decks the competition, sliding into seventh-hottest housing market spot in the country. The average annual household income is almost $72k, the home value forecast is 3.0 percent and there are 81,479 job openings available.

6: Austin, Texas

This trendy Texas city ranks sixth-hottest housing market in the United State. Austin proves to be the "it" spot for young professionals and start-ups. The home value forecast is 3.3 percent, there are 47k+ job openings and the annual Austin household pulls in $71,000. Not too shabby, eh?

5: San Francisco, California

Let’s face it: the San Francisco Bay is BAE. The high-end housing market continues to reign as one of the top in the country, with an average annual income of $97,677, a home value forecast of 3.8 percent and 137,073 job openings.

4: Charlotte, North Carolina

The Queen City is prime picking for putting down your southern roots. This gem has an average annual income of $59,979, a home value forecast of 4.0 percent and nearly 50k job openings for Charlotteans.

3: Seattle, Washington

Are we really surprised that the motherland of Starbucks is predicted to have a hot, steamy housing market? The mocha-mecca boasts an average annual income of $78,612, home value forecast of 5.4 percent and over 100k job openings across the city.

2: Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is home to N.C. State, some of the nation's most brilliant minds and the second hottest housing market in the country. An average annual income of $71,685, home value forecast of 3.7 percent and nearly 30k job openings earn this college town its silver medal.

1: San Jose, California

The hottest-of-the-hot, number one spot goes to the housing market in San Jose, California. Numbers don’t lie, people! Sunny San Jose boasts an average household income of $110,040, 70k job openings and home value is expected to increase 8.9 percent over the upcoming year!

homeowner-regret-purchases

During the frenzied excitement that accompanies moving into a new home, you might end up filling it with a few purchases you'll quickly regret. A couch you loved at the store might look absolutely ginormous in your living room, for instance. Or, those drapes that seemed like they match your carpet to a T might turn out to be way off once they arrive at your door.

Alas, such buyer's regret has happened to all of us. But to help you avoid these mistakes, heed these worst home purchases that homeowners admit to and hear how they came to pass.

A patio set on a porch where no one sits

A patio deserves a pair of wrought-iron chairs and a little table at which to linger and enjoy a cocktail with one's spouse. Right? Christina of Babylon, NY, planned it exactly this way.

"I thought we'd sit out and wave to our neighbors on balmy nights," she explains. Instead, the set went unused.

"We sat there maybe once, saw no neighbors, and then the bugs starting biting us, so we went in," she recalls. It sounded like such a nice idea, but in the end, it was impractical and downright uncomfortable.

"There aren't any lights on our street, so the season for sitting out is very short—it's just too dark!"

Lesson learned: Check the climate in your new neighborhood. Before purchasing outdoor furniture, search for average temperatures, rainfall, bugs, and other factors that could affect how much time you spend outdoors.

A designer chair where no one sees it

"I searched high and low for an Eames chair to go with my desk in the bedroom," recalls Nicole, a homeowner and mom of three in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the expensive purchase ended up being a big waste of money.

"No one ever sees it because it's tucked away in my bedroom, and the kids are constantly climbing all over it and getting it dirty," she laments. They even nicked the paint on one of the arms. "Next time, I'm going to Ikea."

Lesson learned: Save showpieces and custom designs for rooms that see more traffic. For example, hang fancy drapes in the living and dining rooms, but use Kohl's panels for the kids' rooms.

Storage baskets with no plan how to use them

Karina, a homeowner in Wakefield, RI, bought baskets for her crafting supplies, but they were a total bust.

"They basically held my stuff, but I had so much that it couldn't be organized properly," she says. It was, in other words, a basket-filled mess.

Lesson learned: "It's better to have a plan first—and maybe get professional help for some projects—rather than go it alone," says Burston.

A funky mirror that looked dated all too soon

Martha, a fan of the Arts and Crafts look, purchased a huge mirror hand-painted with colorful birds for her new home in Winsted, CT.

"I loved it years ago, but now I say, 'what was I thinking' every time I pass it," she admits. It's currently stashed in an upstairs hall.

Lesson learned: Be wary of trendy pieces—and always save receipts.

"You should be able to exchange something if you haven't marked it up," notes Coraccio.

A DIY project that never got done

Time can sometimes run out on a purchase, as Gillian discovered. This New York City homeowner's husband bought an antique sink years ago from a dealer in Pennsylvania for their Harlem brownstone.

"He planned to fix it up and use it in the upstairs bathroom, but it's still sitting in the basement," she says. In fact, it's been sitting there so long, "now we're divorced."

Lesson learned: Don't let DIYs linger. Be sure you know how to finish a project yourself, and don't begin anything new before the first is completed.

A sofa that doesn't blend in

A couch is supposed to anchor a room—except when it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Anne, a homeowner in New York City, says the sofa she bought after moving in turned out to be the worst of all worlds.

"It's too traditional, uncomfortably firm, and it makes the room look fuddy-duddy," she explains. Levy has lived with this piece for years, but is finally coming around to looking for a replacement.

Lesson learned: Try to thoroughly test-drive every large piece of furniture you're considering. And check the store's return policy; a restocking fee might be worth not getting stuck with a huge furnishing you hate for years. You could also try to sell it online as "almost new."

Just too much, too soon

When Liz moved from a small house in Ipswich, MA, to a larger one in nearby Hamilton, the shopping wheel was set in motion.

"In order to fill the bigger space, I made a whole lot of furniture decisions on the fly," she recalls. The result? A look that wasn't quite right.

"In some cases, the pieces were fine, but in other rooms, I wish I had waited a while, lived in the space longer, and thought through how things might fit together," she explains.

Lesson learned: Live in your new home for at least a month or two. You might find the space you thought would be the family room is better served for dining—and the home office you set up is sitting vacant since you seem to like using your laptop at the kitchen counter.

how to learn more about a neighborhood

Everyone has seen the neighborhood that’s changed: One day it was on the fringe, and the next it had turned a corner. Suddenly, it was teeming with new businesses, new residents, new life—and newly high property values, to the advantage of those residents who stuck around. First-time buyers, cash-strapped buyers, and “pioneering” buyers alike flock to these next big neighborhoods. But to get in early before it becomes the next big thing is the key to stretching your dollar. How can you tell if a neighborhood is up and coming or down and out? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you research a new neighborhood, especially if you’re thinking of making an offer on a new home. 

  1. Is an organic grocery store moving in?

    When a co-working space, an organic grocery store, or a new pop-up restaurant moves into the neighborhood, it’s a sign that the neighborhood is changing. This is just as true for small boutiques and specialty stores as it is for large businesses that sell the basics with flair. In fact, most larger businesses do a fair amount of economic research and projections before moving into a neighborhood. Watching retail industry moves can be a great way to spot emerging areas with strong fundamentals.

  2.  Is there untapped architectural potential?

    Keep an eye out for neighborhoods characterized by a particular type of architecture. Often, neighborhoods that are filled with Tudors, Victorians, Spanish-style homes, or even Mid-Century Moderns will see a surge of revitalization when a fresh generation of homebuyers falls in love with the style and realizes the deals that can be had there unlike in other areas in town.

  3. What’s going on in the local economy?

    From cloud storage data centers in Des Moines to a new light-rail station in Denver, one large-scale employer or infrastructure development can be a very early, very strong sign that an area will see its real estate fortunes rise. With that said, areas dependent on one employer from an industry on the decline can see their fates shift downward as well. Look for industry-wide investment in an area, versus a single company’s investment.

  4. Are there many construction trucks in the street?

    When an older area that has not seen much investment in it for years suddenly has a number of ongoing renovations, this can be an early signal of an up-and-coming neighborhood turnaround. It might be worth taking a trip down to the city building permit counter to see whether the staff has seen the same uptick in individual owners’ investment in the area, and if so, what they think the story of the neighborhood might be—or might become. City staffers often have a wealth of information, everything from pending commercial development applications to city projects based on development initiatives.

  5. How many days are houses in the neighborhood spending on the market?

    Ten years ago, I listed a charming, pristine home on a less than ideal street. The location was its fatal flaw, and the place just lagged on the market as a result. Now millennials buying their first homes are salivating over this precise location because of its urban feel, trendy hot spots, and convenience to the subway. Homes that once took 90 days to sell began selling in 45, then eventually they were on the market for only a couple of weeks. This decline in the number of days on market (DOM) occurred much before the home prices themselves increased. A slow, steady decrease in DOM is a smart, early sign that a neighborhood might be on the verge of up-and-coming status. Ask your agent to help clue you in as to where precisely those areas might be in your area.

 

 

Built-in Bench

A custom bench works great when you want to create a custom space that allows you to host guests while still being chic and valuable to the space.

A custom bench works great when you want to create a custom space that allows you to host guests while still being chic and valuable to the space.  Built-in furniture is always great because they are customized to your liking and the size of your space. We recommend measuring the space and getting a built-in bench. A bench is always an excellent idea for the outdoor space. Combine your built-in bench with a table for the perfect outdoor seating area.

Outdoor Rug

patio rug 10 Ways to Make the Most out of a Small Outdoor Space

One of the many things we struggle when decorating the outdoor space is with color. You don’t want to add too much color as you are already working with the natural elements in the space, but you also want to add enough color to brighten up your décor. The truth is outdoor rugs add color and comfort to the space all at once. Get an outdoor rug that features a bold color or pattern. Doing so will add color as well as texture all in one simple step. Just remember the rug you use outdoors should be an outdoor rug.

Small Garden

If you have a balcony you might be inclined to place multiple different plant pots all around your balcony space. Although, this can be useful as it allows you to rearrange your garden as many times as you would like. It can sometimes become cluttered which is exactly what you do not want. Instead, you want to create a space that’s airy while still having the garden you like. Choose interesting shaped plants or plant bases as this will create an intricate space while not taking up too much space. Your tiny garden is still beautiful regardless of the size.

How Long Is That Remodel Going to Take?

by Jan Delimont

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Some remodeling projects go on for weeks and make a mess of your home life. Here’s how to survive.

Renovations can take weeks — and sometimes months. That means endless days of subcontractors traipsing through your home, noisy tools, and major dust. Even some minor projects can disrupt your daily routine. Before you begin to remodel, know what’s in store for you and your family.

We’ve highlighted nine common remodeling projects that homeowners are likely to undertake — projects that require professional contractors and that take at least one week to complete.

We also talked with veteran remodeler Paul Sullivan, who has renovated homes for 34 years and is president of The Sullivan Company in Newton, Mass.

Sullivan helped us rate each project on a “disruption scale” of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least disruptive to your everyday home life and 10 the most. If your project reaches a 10, consider getting a hotel room for the duration.
 

Attic Conversion

National median cost: $75,000

Time: 8 to 10 weeks

What’s involved: A project that converts unconditioned attic space into a bedroom must include egress windows and at least one closet. Most likely, you’ll extend plumbing, HVAC ducts, and electrical wiring to the attic, and add insulation, drywall, and flooring.

Disruption scale: 3  Luckily, most of the work is in the attic and doesn’t involve your main living areas. You’ll have to put up with contractors moving through the house to get to the top, so provide drop cloths or old rugs to protect your floors. Also, plaster dust from drywall installation and finishing likely will float throughout your home, so you’ll want to change furnace filters every two to three weeks during the project.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

National median cost: $7 per square foot

Time: 2 to 14 days

What’s involved: Sanding, staining, and sealing wood floors. 

Disruption scale: 9  Whether you’re refinishing one floor or an entire house, the process involves a world of hurt. You have to move furniture and cover surfaces to protect from wood dust, which disrupts the flow of family life. And if you use oil-based sealants, you’ll have to live somewhere else to avoid breathing VOC fumes. Plus, you won’t be able to walk on floors for at least two days after the last coat of sealant is applied.

Bathroom Renovation

National median cost: $30,000

Time: 2 to 3 weeks

What’s involved: Turning your outdated bathroom into a dream spa includes updating plumbing fixtures, installing ceramic tile around a porcelain-on-steel tub, replacing an old toilet with a low-flow, comfort-height model, and installing ceramic floor tiles and solid-surface vanity counters.

Disruption scale: 7 to 10  If you’re remodeling your only bathroom, expect major disruption of your personal hygiene routine. You’ll have to wash in the kitchen sink, and install a portable potty in the yard or make friends with a neighbor when nature calls. You’ll have less pain if you have more than one bathroom in the house. Even then, you’ll suffer water outages during plumbing updates. And if you’re remodeling a master bath, you must put up with workman tromping through your bedroom.

Complete Kitchen Renovation

National median cost: $65,000

Time: 8 to 12 weeks

What’s involved: Replacing cabinets, installing a kitchen island and countertops, replacing appliances, adding lighting, and changing flooring.

Disruption scale: 8  Kitchens are the heart of the home, so when they’re down, you’ll eat out more, wash coffee cups in bathroom sinks, and hold family meetings in the family room where your microwave and fridge now live. To ease the disruption, your contractor can easily set up a construction sink somewhere by running a couple of hoses from existing kitchen plumbing through the dust wall to a make-shift kitchen in an adjacent room.

Kitchen Upgrade

National median cost: $35,000

Time: 1 to 2 weeks

What’s involved: Replacing cabinet box fronts, adding new hardware, updating appliances, sinks, and faucets, and installing new flooring.

Disruption scale: 5  Kitchen facelifts are less disruptive merely because they’re finished faster than major remodels. You’re mainly pulling and replacing, so plumbing and electrical can stay put, and you’ll still have access to your fridge until the new one arrives.

Basement Conversion

National median cost: $40,000 

Time: 2 to 3 weeks

What’s involved: Finishing the lower level of a house to create a playspace and video area for kids.

Disruption scale: 2  Seems counter-intuitive, because turning unfinished space into extra living space requires all the finishes of a new addition — electrical, flooring, wall surfaces, and insulation. But the good news: Work is confined to a part of the house you rarely use. Contractors can enter and exit through the basement door (if you have one), and noise and dust are easily confined. The biggest disruptions come from periodic electrical outages.

Roofing Replacement (Asphalt Shingles)

National median cost: $7,500

Time: 1 week

What’s involved: Removing and replacing roofing moisture barriers, flashing, and shingles. 

Disruption scale: 1  Replacing your roof is one of the least inconvenient remodeling projects you can do. You’ll have to put up with some banging, move your cars away from the house, and keep dogs and kids out of the yard during the demolish phase. Roofers will cover the ground around the job to corral debris; and after the job, they’ll go over your yard with a magnetic roller to pick up stray nails.

Siding Replacement (Vinyl)

National median cost: $13,350

Time: 1 to 2 weeks

What’s involved: Removing and replacing old vinyl siding with new vinyl siding.

Disruption scale: 3  You’ll endure lots of banging around your house as the new siding goes up. If noise bothers you, stick in your earbuds and listen to something soothing. Even though contractors will cover the area around the house, expect some debris to litter the yard. Keep curious kids and pets inside while work is being done to avoid accidents.

Everyone Needs an Adorable Wine Glass Terrarium in Their Life

by Jan Delimont

DIY Wine Glass Terrariums | Cambria Wines

 

Chances are you have a ton of wine glasses in your home. If you're looking for a new way to use them, this adorable container garden is the perfect idea. All you need is a glass, potting soil, sand or gravel and your plants of choice. Many people use succulents, cacti or air plants since they're low maintenance, but it's really the gardener's prerogative, as proven by these beautiful creations.

To create a garden that'll thrive, dump about a cup of sand or gravel into your glass (this helps with drainage). Then add enough potting soil to cover the roots of your plants.

You can also add rocks and moss (one of the trendiest plants of the moment) on top of your soil to create interesting texture in your garden. Or, if you're a fan of fairy gardens, these glasses are practically begging for a mini chair or house.

If you pick a drought resistant cactus or succulent, you can fill your basin with neutral rocks, which makes for a stylish centerpiece. An easy-to-care for garden is also a thoughtful hostess gift for the next summer party you get invited to.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 243

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Licensed in the State of Oregon
Jan Delimont, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX South Coast 1750 Sherman Avenue, North Bend OR 97459
(541) 297-7507 office
Jan Delimont provides information on real estate and homes for sale
in the Southern Oregon area.

 I list and sell residential real estate including freestanding homes, condominiums and townhomes
as well as investment properties, vacant land and lots for sale in the Southern Oregon real estate area.